The local council in the Souq al-Jum'a District of Tripoli has set up workshops to prepare citizens for the upcoming municipal elections in Libya. Cooperating with civil society groups and government departments, the workshop aims to inform Libyans about the electoral rights while fixing the outstanding issues.
Despite continued uncertainty over the dates and, indeed, the overall political situation, Libya is slowly working its way towards its next round of municipal elections. For many Libyans, the new round of elections represent an opportunity to amend the mistakes of the previous elections that have resulted in a political impasse. However, there is also an awareness that insufficient preparation can end up exacerbating the situation. To ensure Libyans are prepared and well-informed about the electoral process, workshops were held in the Souq al-Jum’a District of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
According to the organisers, the workshops are intended to inform the people of Tripoli of several election-related topics. These include stages of electoral work and mechanisms, the electoral lists, systems, development and the wider process, as well as ensuring electoral security. The goal is to ensure that when Libyans go to the polls, they have a clear understanding of how the system works in order avoid misunderstandings and the dissemination of falsities that can inflame tensions.
The workshops also included discussions on a number of outstanding issues such as the matter of unregistered voters, with the goal of getting as many voters registered as possible.
In order to ensure the optimal outcome, the workshops are being held in cooperation with a number of governmental and non-governmental organisations and civil society groups in and around Tripoli. In addition to being supported by the departments of Interior, Education and Civil Registry, the workshops are also supported by organisations such as the Red Crescent and the Souq al-Jum’a Scouts.
One important aspect of the workshops was to increase the portion of women’s representation, which has traditionally lagged behind. Civic activists here in Tripoli are looking to ensure that women not only participate as voters but as politicians and civil servants. The recent increase in the number of women voters registered suggests these efforts are working.
No doubt, there is a lot of work to be done. However, the workshops in Souq al-Jum’a and elsewhere suggest that Libyans are keen to put an end to years of fighting and make the best out of their democratic rights they fought to win.